VIDEO: Government minister's praise for Queensbury tunnel cycle plans

VIDEO: Government minister's praise for Queensbury tunnel cycle plans

Government minister Robert Goodwill, visited the Queensbury tunnel.

Government minister Robert Goodwill, visited the Queensbury tunnel.

From left, Tom Jones, Government minister Robert Goodwill, Welcome to Yorkshire's Gary Verity, MP Gerry Sutcliffe and Cllr Val Slater.

From left, Government minister Robert Goodwill, Simon Cooke, Mike Babbitt and Welcome to Yorkshire's Gary Verity.

First published in News
Last updated

A GOVERNMENT minister praised a group of community volunteers who have led a campaign to re-open the village's abandoned rail tunnel as a mile and a half long cycleway.

Under Secretary of State for Transport Robert Goodwill visited the Queensbury tunnel yesterday and was told of the ambitious plans. Although he agreed it was a good idea, he said the Victorian tunnel's future was dependent on an imminent survey on its condition.

Mr Goodwill was invited to view the tunnel by the Queensbury Community Heritage Action Partnership, a group that has been pushing for the long derelict tunnel to become the longest underground cycle way in Europe.

It hopes to create a cycle trail linking Halifax with Bradford and Cullingworth.

The Highways Agency is responsible for the tunnel and this summer will carry out a survey on its condition. Q-CHAP hopes the agency will use the money budgeted for the tunnel to improve and re-open it, rather than concreting it in.

Cycling group Sustrans have already backed the plans. A similar tunnel opened in Bath last year.

The visit was also attended by representatives of Bradford Council and Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire.

After visiting the tunnel the group was taken to Black Dyke Mills, where Q-Chap hopes to open a heritage centre as part of a wider re-generation of the building.

During a presentation by Norah McWilliam, leader of the community group, Mr Goodwill was told of hopes to hold a "Queensbury Triathlon" in the tunnel in 2018 - the 140th anniversary of the tunnel opening.

After the visit Mr Goodwill said: "The Highways Agency has a responsibility to keep the tunnel in a condition that doesn't cause problems for the people living above it. We need to find out how much it will cost to not just keep the tunnel safe but also to make it accessible to cyclists.

"It is in an important location to join up other networks. A lot of the area round here has steep inclines that might appeal to the Lycra clad riders, but this would offer a accessible, flat route for families to cycle on without the fear of traffic.

"We need to know what the price tag will be. I presume that eventually Bradford Council will be taking over running the tunnel, and they won't want to do that unless they can be sure they are not going to have to spend millions on it in the first few years."

He said that whatever the result of the survey, he had been impressed by Q-CHAP, adding: "Determined groups of local people are the best campaigners for this type of thing, you know they are doing it for all the right reasons."

Councillor Val Slater, the Council's portfolio holder for planning and transport, said: "Until we know the result of the survey it is very difficult to make any comment on this, but it is something we will be following up on."

Comments (20)

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8:01am Tue 24 Jun 14

Avro says...

And will the Governement pay for what wil be an expensive upkeep?
And will the Governement pay for what wil be an expensive upkeep? Avro
  • Score: -12

8:31am Tue 24 Jun 14

collos25 says...

They do not maintain the ones they have got this will be another white elephant.
They do not maintain the ones they have got this will be another white elephant. collos25
  • Score: -14

8:52am Tue 24 Jun 14

Jos7764 says...

I thought Queensbury Station was privately owned land, do they intend buying the whole station then? The access to the station is not easy, private road from Queensbury or narrow county lane from Clayton or Thornton. Someone has not thought this through.
I thought Queensbury Station was privately owned land, do they intend buying the whole station then? The access to the station is not easy, private road from Queensbury or narrow county lane from Clayton or Thornton. Someone has not thought this through. Jos7764
  • Score: -4

8:55am Tue 24 Jun 14

Avro says...

Simply a muggers dream come true..
Simply a muggers dream come true.. Avro
  • Score: -11

9:08am Tue 24 Jun 14

JAtkinson says...

Whingers & moaners out in force this morning - more pooh-pooh the a sewage works and a similar smell.
Whingers & moaners out in force this morning - more pooh-pooh the a sewage works and a similar smell. JAtkinson
  • Score: 0

9:38am Tue 24 Jun 14

bachtothefuture says...

I don’t know whether the tunnel is viable or not, but the point for me is that here is another citizens group, like the ones regenerating the Beck or clearing the knotweed, trying to do something about Bradford’s future. This is in complete contrast to the Council that attended the meeting with the Minister completely unprepared with costings or surveys. How amateurish they must have looked.

Cllrs Slater and Hinchcliffe should be encouraging groups and projects like this, not issuing wet blanket statements about the difficulty of making comments. One thing is clear from this story, if Bradford is to have a future it lies not with the its Council but with its citizens.
I don’t know whether the tunnel is viable or not, but the point for me is that here is another citizens group, like the ones regenerating the Beck or clearing the knotweed, trying to do something about Bradford’s future. This is in complete contrast to the Council that attended the meeting with the Minister completely unprepared with costings or surveys. How amateurish they must have looked. Cllrs Slater and Hinchcliffe should be encouraging groups and projects like this, not issuing wet blanket statements about the difficulty of making comments. One thing is clear from this story, if Bradford is to have a future it lies not with the its Council but with its citizens. bachtothefuture
  • Score: 42

10:41am Tue 24 Jun 14

bcfc1903 says...

If it's financially viable, hopefully it will happen. Getting pedal bikes off the roads and onto cycle ways is the safe option.
If it's financially viable, hopefully it will happen. Getting pedal bikes off the roads and onto cycle ways is the safe option. bcfc1903
  • Score: -3

10:59am Tue 24 Jun 14

Avro says...

JAtkinson wrote:
Whingers & moaners out in force this morning - more pooh-pooh the a sewage works and a similar smell.
Interesting to see the old **** has nothing useful to contribute
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: Whingers & moaners out in force this morning - more pooh-pooh the a sewage works and a similar smell.[/p][/quote]Interesting to see the old **** has nothing useful to contribute Avro
  • Score: 7

11:06am Tue 24 Jun 14

angry bradfordian says...

It's nice that a government minister has taken the time to visit, be briefed and give his opinion on the matter.
It's a disgrace that the council's transport spokeswoman finds it too 'difficult' to comment about it.
It's nice that a government minister has taken the time to visit, be briefed and give his opinion on the matter. It's a disgrace that the council's transport spokeswoman finds it too 'difficult' to comment about it. angry bradfordian
  • Score: 23

11:16am Tue 24 Jun 14

Albion. says...

Avro wrote:
And will the Governement pay for what wil be an expensive upkeep?
Won't that be done by Sustrans?
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: And will the Governement pay for what wil be an expensive upkeep?[/p][/quote]Won't that be done by Sustrans? Albion.
  • Score: 3

11:25am Tue 24 Jun 14

caledonia15 says...

Could be a wonderful asset to the area if the tunnel is sound enough to use, there is the issue with the blockage at the Halifax end which is allowing the water level to build up inside the tunnel. Linking this to the yet to be completed Great Northern Trail would be a real boost to the tourism in the Bradford District, good luck to the folk in Queensbury who are trying to drive this forward.
Could be a wonderful asset to the area if the tunnel is sound enough to use, there is the issue with the blockage at the Halifax end which is allowing the water level to build up inside the tunnel. Linking this to the yet to be completed Great Northern Trail would be a real boost to the tourism in the Bradford District, good luck to the folk in Queensbury who are trying to drive this forward. caledonia15
  • Score: 11

12:54pm Tue 24 Jun 14

thatsnotmyname says...

bachtothefuture wrote:
I don’t know whether the tunnel is viable or not, but the point for me is that here is another citizens group, like the ones regenerating the Beck or clearing the knotweed, trying to do something about Bradford’s future. This is in complete contrast to the Council that attended the meeting with the Minister completely unprepared with costings or surveys. How amateurish they must have looked.

Cllrs Slater and Hinchcliffe should be encouraging groups and projects like this, not issuing wet blanket statements about the difficulty of making comments. One thing is clear from this story, if Bradford is to have a future it lies not with the its Council but with its citizens.
Every city or town has always been the sum of its citizens. People expect too much of councils and government.
[quote][p][bold]bachtothefuture[/bold] wrote: I don’t know whether the tunnel is viable or not, but the point for me is that here is another citizens group, like the ones regenerating the Beck or clearing the knotweed, trying to do something about Bradford’s future. This is in complete contrast to the Council that attended the meeting with the Minister completely unprepared with costings or surveys. How amateurish they must have looked. Cllrs Slater and Hinchcliffe should be encouraging groups and projects like this, not issuing wet blanket statements about the difficulty of making comments. One thing is clear from this story, if Bradford is to have a future it lies not with the its Council but with its citizens.[/p][/quote]Every city or town has always been the sum of its citizens. People expect too much of councils and government. thatsnotmyname
  • Score: -3

1:15pm Tue 24 Jun 14

SurprisedByJoyce says...

thatsnotmyname wrote:
bachtothefuture wrote:
I don’t know whether the tunnel is viable or not, but the point for me is that here is another citizens group, like the ones regenerating the Beck or clearing the knotweed, trying to do something about Bradford’s future. This is in complete contrast to the Council that attended the meeting with the Minister completely unprepared with costings or surveys. How amateurish they must have looked.

Cllrs Slater and Hinchcliffe should be encouraging groups and projects like this, not issuing wet blanket statements about the difficulty of making comments. One thing is clear from this story, if Bradford is to have a future it lies not with the its Council but with its citizens.
Every city or town has always been the sum of its citizens. People expect too much of councils and government.
Council’s are formed and elected to be the agents of the will of the people. For this reason they are given tax raising powers to enable them to act. Taking the money and then expecting citizens to do things for themselves is a betrayal of trust.
[quote][p][bold]thatsnotmyname[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bachtothefuture[/bold] wrote: I don’t know whether the tunnel is viable or not, but the point for me is that here is another citizens group, like the ones regenerating the Beck or clearing the knotweed, trying to do something about Bradford’s future. This is in complete contrast to the Council that attended the meeting with the Minister completely unprepared with costings or surveys. How amateurish they must have looked. Cllrs Slater and Hinchcliffe should be encouraging groups and projects like this, not issuing wet blanket statements about the difficulty of making comments. One thing is clear from this story, if Bradford is to have a future it lies not with the its Council but with its citizens.[/p][/quote]Every city or town has always been the sum of its citizens. People expect too much of councils and government.[/p][/quote]Council’s are formed and elected to be the agents of the will of the people. For this reason they are given tax raising powers to enable them to act. Taking the money and then expecting citizens to do things for themselves is a betrayal of trust. SurprisedByJoyce
  • Score: 13

1:46pm Tue 24 Jun 14

alive and awake says...

I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context.
This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.
I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late. alive and awake
  • Score: -13

3:02pm Tue 24 Jun 14

gouldengirl says...

alive and awake wrote:
I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context.
This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.
Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.
[quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.[/p][/quote]Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first. gouldengirl
  • Score: 16

3:49pm Tue 24 Jun 14

JAtkinson says...

gouldengirl wrote:
alive and awake wrote:
I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context.
This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.
Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.
How did she rubbish it? She said she'd have to wait for the results of a survey before she could comment. Seems very neutral and non-committal either way to me.
[quote][p][bold]gouldengirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.[/p][/quote]Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.[/p][/quote]How did she rubbish it? She said she'd have to wait for the results of a survey before she could comment. Seems very neutral and non-committal either way to me. JAtkinson
  • Score: -1

5:52pm Tue 24 Jun 14

gouldengirl says...

JAtkinson wrote:
gouldengirl wrote:
alive and awake wrote:
I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context.
This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.
Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.
How did she rubbish it? She said she'd have to wait for the results of a survey before she could comment. Seems very neutral and non-committal either way to me.
Oh come on. Faint praise and studiously neutral comments are always the cowardly politicians way of saying no. It's the way they go about trying to remain popular and it allows people like you to defend them.

I would have been more impressed if Cllr Slater had said she was all in favour of the scheme providing the financials made sense.
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gouldengirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.[/p][/quote]Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.[/p][/quote]How did she rubbish it? She said she'd have to wait for the results of a survey before she could comment. Seems very neutral and non-committal either way to me.[/p][/quote]Oh come on. Faint praise and studiously neutral comments are always the cowardly politicians way of saying no. It's the way they go about trying to remain popular and it allows people like you to defend them. I would have been more impressed if Cllr Slater had said she was all in favour of the scheme providing the financials made sense. gouldengirl
  • Score: 7

7:04pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Apollo says...

It is never, ever going to happen. That is not being negative, that is being realistic.

I applaud those who wish to put their energy into it. The Council are useless as we all know.

But that does not detract from fact this is a non starter.
It is never, ever going to happen. That is not being negative, that is being realistic. I applaud those who wish to put their energy into it. The Council are useless as we all know. But that does not detract from fact this is a non starter. Apollo
  • Score: -1

10:22pm Tue 24 Jun 14

alive and awake says...

gouldengirl wrote:
alive and awake wrote: I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.
Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.
Are you being serious? Who in their right mind would want to ride 3- 4mile uphill in a dingy tunnel, with the prospect of some other lunatic tearing down in the other direction. LOL. I wonder how many illegals could shack up in there. Would it have a police presence? I retract my previous comment. " This is THE CRAZIEST IDEA" IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.
[quote][p][bold]gouldengirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.[/p][/quote]Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.[/p][/quote]Are you being serious? Who in their right mind would want to ride 3- 4mile uphill in a dingy tunnel, with the prospect of some other lunatic tearing down in the other direction. LOL. I wonder how many illegals could shack up in there. Would it have a police presence? I retract my previous comment. " This is THE CRAZIEST IDEA" IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. alive and awake
  • Score: -3

8:03am Wed 25 Jun 14

collos25 says...

gouldengirl wrote:
JAtkinson wrote:
gouldengirl wrote:
alive and awake wrote:
I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context.
This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.
Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.
How did she rubbish it? She said she'd have to wait for the results of a survey before she could comment. Seems very neutral and non-committal either way to me.
Oh come on. Faint praise and studiously neutral comments are always the cowardly politicians way of saying no. It's the way they go about trying to remain popular and it allows people like you to defend them.

I would have been more impressed if Cllr Slater had said she was all in favour of the scheme providing the financials made sense.
This from a woman who sanctioned the wasting of millions on her crackpot schemes.
[quote][p][bold]gouldengirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gouldengirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: I can only assume that this Ministers comments have been taken out of context. This is the craziest idea I have heard in a long while, and there has been a lot of late.[/p][/quote]Rubbish. This is a practical and inspirational idea. I'm not sure why Cllr Slater feels she has to rubbish it. Perhaps because the Council didn't think of it first.[/p][/quote]How did she rubbish it? She said she'd have to wait for the results of a survey before she could comment. Seems very neutral and non-committal either way to me.[/p][/quote]Oh come on. Faint praise and studiously neutral comments are always the cowardly politicians way of saying no. It's the way they go about trying to remain popular and it allows people like you to defend them. I would have been more impressed if Cllr Slater had said she was all in favour of the scheme providing the financials made sense.[/p][/quote]This from a woman who sanctioned the wasting of millions on her crackpot schemes. collos25
  • Score: 0

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